Putting Rape To Rest

As the semester is coming to a close, many of us are excited for what awaits us this summer. Plans for summer vacation, beach outings, and camping trips with friends are all in the back of our minds. But what about safety? The Rape and Domestic Violence Center in Morgantown recently hosted “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” an event meant to raise awareness for sexual assault victims throughout the community.

One of my closest friends, Mark Shaw participated in the event because he thought it would be a good way to support women who have been victims of rape or other life changing incidents. He says, “It wasn’t easy to walk in those heels, but it was worth it and I felt good about it afterwards.” I read in the Daily Athenauem that the event raised over two thousand dollars, which is great because it lets us know that people are coming out and acknowledging the efforts that people are putting into place for the victims. The men walking in the event were making a statement that it’s not acceptable to dominate and hurt women in this way. I honestly have the utmost respect for the men in our community who are showing their concerns because rape can happen anywhere and anytime (and we all know walking in heels isn’t easy.)

Although Shaw didn’t win any kind of prize for his set of heels, he told me that’s not what he was after. “I was just glad I found out about the event when I did because responding to organizations that manage these events should be something everyone does at least once.” The number one thing to remember this summer is to never go out alone and always be aware of your surroundings. Being alert can make all the difference. If you’d like to strive to show your support, visit the RDVIC website to extend awareness about sexual-based violence.

What precautions do you take before going out?

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A Chart You Can Count On

I had my last visit at student health today and I have to say it was bittersweet. The WVU staff and administration has always been so supportive in helping students and providing us with whatever we need while away from home. When I sat down in the office today, the secretary informed me that WVU Healthcare is offering a new service known as MyWVUChart. It’s a convenient way for you to access your records, request an appointment, view test results, communicate electronically, and even refill prescriptions. This new system is a stress-free way to maintain all of your personal information without having to make a trip to the office. If you’ve ever been to student health, you know it’s always busy and takes weeks before they can fit you in their schedule. Moreover, your health is important to you around the clock, not just during office hours.

Although I ‘m graduating, it will still be beneficial to use the chart system because other offices will be able to view my medical history without much effort. I tend to be very organized with my schoolwork, yet misplace important medical documents so this amenity will keep everything in one place. If you’d like to start using the chart system, you need to activate an account and receive a temporary activation code. When you visit the site for the first time, you will be asked to confirm your date of birth and social security number before you can create a username and password. The best part is, you don’t have to be sitting at a computer to access all of your healthcare information because there is an app that you can download. I would recommend students take advantage of the chart because it’s free, easy, and secure way to stay on top of things.

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The Walk Of A Lifetime

As we go through life, nothing gives us a sense of fulfillment quite like helping others. That’s why I plan to aid others this weekend by signing up for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. The organization schedules events all over the country in order to help fight cancer.

I’ve decided to participate because I’m usually spending my time and money on things that aren’t nearly as important as donating to cancer research. The event caters to many cancer survivors as well in which the special “survivor lap” is a very rewarding experience for those who were fortunate enough to defeat the deadly disease. I joined a team last year and ended up having a blast. Everyone is so nice and there are always tents and food stands set up all day to continue raising money for the various teams. So far, more than 1,500 people have raised over 64,000 dollars. If you’d like to join, the relay starts at 6:00 p.m. at the WVU track.  The weather is supposed to be nice so go ahead and tell your friends to sign up. You have the opportunity to assist in saving a person’s life for a small fee of just 10 dollars.

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Protecting Your Pearly Whites

I’ve hated brushing my teeth ever since I was a little kid. It’s always seemed like such a hassle but I can still remember my grandfather telling me to brush for approximately 2 minutes. The combination between loving sweets and being lazy before bedtime led me to countless cavities and a root canal by the time I hit the 5 th grade. It took me a long time to realize how important it is to take care of my teeth and today I made my last dentist appointment before my dental insurance runs out. Of course I’m hoping to land a job that offers benefits, but because that’s not guaranteed, I’m taking advantage of one more cleaning and any fillings that may need done. Being away from home has turned into an excuse not to pencil in life’s necessary checkups. I think many students put off appointments because they don’t know where to go if it’s outside of their hometown or maybe that don’t feel like paying a small copay. If you’re fortunate enough to have dental insurance through your parents while you’re still in school, I would suggest using it. Afterall, you can only benefiting from it.

I realize now more than ever that life comes with more responsibilities than just homework. Taking care of our teeth is crucial because it affects other aspects of our lives. And no, I don’t mean maintaining your appearance with twice a day white strips or freshening your breath with a little bit of mouthwash. If you wait too long before your next examination, your dentist may not be able to discover all of those nasty germs that are constantly spreading in your mouth. Early detection can reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or even lung disease. I’m guilty of not scheduling regular appointments, but I want other students to learn from my mistakes . Keeping your teeth healthy by means of early detection will save pain, money, and potentially serious health problems.

Dr. Chetan recommends 9 ways to keep your teeth healthy (most of which you can do from home).

In addition, I enjoyed reading this article about facts that your dentist wants you to know!

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Savoring Your Taste Buds

Spring has arrived and the warm weather has me wanting to sit out on the front porch with friends and a koozie in my hand. I usually enjoy having a few beers when I socialize but lately I’ve been craving ice-cold refreshments that serve as a healthy alternative to my typical choice of budlight lime. (which is a devious source of calories and sugar). I have been experimenting with healthier drink options to indulge in this summer without having to consume twice as many calories. I’ve turned it into a type of domestic project, which I think will be worth it in the end because not only will it be hale and hearty, it’ll taste good in the process. Here are some of my own recommendations if you want to try a healthy and flavorful drink that’s a change from what you’re used to.

Size matters. Don’t spoil yourself with limitless margaritas. Keep track of your liquid calories and limit yourself to one serving which is around 8 ounces.

Be able to resist. Mixed drinks can contain a lot of alcohol so if you’re experimenting with your own home remedies, try to limit yourself to one shot per drink. It will really make a difference when you’ve put a few cocktails down.

Choose healthy ingredients. Believe it or not, sugar and empty calories aren’t the only ingredients in your favorite drinks. I’ve found that some cocktails have lemon juice and even coffee that have their own benefits. If you stick to drinking four loko’s all the time, you’ll end up dehydrated and wake up with the worst hang over of your life (the alcohol and caffeine don’t tend to mix well.)

Use bright colors. It’s always fun to show off your flashy drinks with the fancy straw, so go ahead and stick a strawberry on the size or throw in some diced peaches. Using whole fruit rather than artificial sugar is a great way to receive your daily amounts of vitamins and fiber.

If making your own drinks at home is too much work, FitDay is a good source in discovering a variety of healthy drinking options to order at your local bar/grille.

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Diving Into A New Workout

As a child, I was enrolled in swimming lessons at one of the local public pools. I can remember waking up eager to go (regardless of how frigid the water temperatures are at 7a.m.) swim with the other kids. When I reflect back on my youth, it seems pools were meant for water gun fights and jumping off the highest diving boards to impress your friends. Now that I’m older, it’s become a symbol of physical fitness rather than child’s play. With that being said, physical activities don’t stay exciting forever which is why it’s important to participate in an exercise that’s going to keep you motivated. Therefore, I’ve recently decided to take it upon myself to start swimming at the rec center three times a week because it’s a rigorous workout, yet fun in the process.

When I got into the water today, I didn’t understand why I had waited so long to take laps in the pool. I’m no elite swimmer so it took me a minute to get started, but I began practicing various techniques that I learned from childhood. The three basic styles I could remember learning were the backstroke, freestyle, and underwater techniques. It felt so good to take another approach to exercising, and implement other parts of my body that haven’t been applied in awhile. For instance, I’m not flexible at all, but in the water you feel weightless and are able to move so freely.

There are many advantages to swimming which is why I’ve started conditioning. Moving through the water really improves your heart rate and lung capacity because you don’t have the ability to breathe in oxygen at all times. In addition, I like to swim because it’s not too strenuous on your body. It increases your muscle strength, but it’s not a higher impact workout like weightlifting. I swam at a comfortable pace, which allowed me to exercise all parts of my body including my cardiovascular system. My upper body became tired eventually so I switched to using a swimming board to work out my legs.

After about 45 minutes, I finished up and felt great about what I had accomplished. It’s a great way to lose weight or just tone your figure. I’d highly recommend utilizing an indoor community pool until summer is in session. This is a big step towards a positive change and I want to make it a long-term practice. You never know, I may be one of the old lady’s you see participating in water aerobics someday. It’s healthier than playing bingo, right?

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Saving Lives By The Numbers

I’ve attended several doctor appointments, dentist appointments, and other various check ups but never had a breast examination. I recently discovered that the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center is offering same day results for mammograms. I think this is a great idea because it raises awareness about breast cancer, but also gives women a peace of mind by having instant results before leaving the clinic. Breast cancer may not be a prevalent issue for young women, however an occasional mammogram should still be on your to do list.

I never knew what signs and symptoms to look for, but it’s just like anything else.. You may not be experiencing a tooth ache but it’s still important to attend regular check ups. The doctor found a small benign lump in my mother’s breast last summer and it scared me to death. Everything turned out fine because the lump was detected early but it left my mind racing and put into perspective how it’s vital to monitor your health. According to the U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics website, approximately fifteen percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family member with the disease. Even if your family doesn’t have any type of history with cancer, it’s important to be proactive. In addition, there were almost 40,000 deaths last year as a result of breast cancer. There may be scarce treatment options for some types of cancer but early detection always helps.

By participating in mammogram screenings and self-breast exams, women can catch the deadly disease before it’s too late. If you’d like to have a screening done, patients can receive a mammogram at the Breast Care Center from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. I’m all for a procedure that saves lives.

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